Rachel Ruysch  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Rachel Ruysch (June 3, 1664 — Amsterdam, August 12, 1750) was a Dutch artist who specialized in still-life paintings of flowers, one of only three significant women artists in Dutch Golden Age painting, of whom Maria van Oosterwijk was also a flower painter, and Judith Leyster mainly not (the German botanic illustrator Maria Sybille Merian also moved to Amsterdam).

She was born in The Hague, but moved to Amsterdam when she was three. Her father Frederik Ruysch, a famous anatomist, and botanist, was appointed a professor there. He gathered a huge collection of rarities in his house. She assisted her father decorating the prepared specimen in a liquor balsamicum with flowers and lace. At fifteen Ruysch was apprenticed to Willem van Aelst, a prominent Delft painter, known for his flower paintings. In 1693, she married a portrait painter, Juriaen Pool (1666–1745), with whom she had ten children. Her sister Pieternel was married to Jan Munnicks, a young man who drew flowers in the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam. Ruysch was extremely pious.

In 1701 Ruysch was inducted into the painters' guild in The Hague. Several years later Ruysch was invited to work for the court in Düsseldorf and serve as court painter to Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine. She remained working for him and his wife from 1708 until the prince's death in 1716. Also Jan Weenix and Adriaen van der Werff were invited to deliver paintings, after Eglon van der Neer died.

Ruysch lived eighty-five years and her dated works establish that she painted from the age of 15 until she was an octogenarian. About a hundred paintings by her are known. The background of the paintings are usually dark. Ruysch was also noted for her paintings of detailed and realistic crystal vases.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rachel Ruysch" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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